Cape Cod is a peninsula located in southeastern Massachusetts that extends 65 miles into the Atlantic Ocean. Provincetown is located northeast of Cape Cod while Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket are located just south of Cape Cod in the Elizabeth Islands. In 1602, Cape Cod received its name from English Explorer Bartholomew Gosnold and is the ninth oldest English place named in the U.S. The Cape is divided into 15 towns with several villages as well. Let’s dive into the best things to do in Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.
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Rich with recreation, Cape Cod is enjoyable for anyone artistic to the most adventurous and on many Bucket Lists. It has been named one of the top 10 spots in the world for whale watching and water activities, including paddle boarding, kayaking, fishing, and windsurfing. Cape Cod is also ranked among the 10 most popular destinations in the U.S. for beaches and golf. You will find world-class bike paths and scenic hiking trails. If you are interested in art and museums, the Cape is also one of the top 25 arts destinations in the country with its galleries, art studios, and museums.
The Cape has been the site of more than 3,000 shipwrecks in 300 years of recorded history. Shallow sand bars several hundred yards off the beach are the main cause for concern. The wreckages have left their legacy in the ocean and wash up on the shores of Cape Cod daily. Sea Glass, pottery, marbles, and shells are some of the most popular finds here. The best feature of the Tripio App is the ability to add any of these fun items to your own Custom Itinerary.
Summers in Cape Cop are warm and the winters are very cold, snowy, and windy. The temperature ranges from 26°F to 78°F and is rarely below 14°F or above 85°F, literally picture perfect. For most of outdoor activities, the best time of year to visit is June through the middle of December. You should not have to be too concerned about precipitation while on vacation in the Cape. It averages less than 40 inches yearly, the lowest in the New England Region.
12 Fun Facts about Cape Cod, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard:
- Cape Cod was JFK’s Favorite Vacation Spot
- Has the largest number of Historic Districts in the US
- Most lighthouses in the county in the US
- Cape Cod has the largest Forest, the Lowell Holly Reservation, that has not been altered in any way in the last 200 years
- Pilgrims set foot in Provincetown, Cape Cod in 1620
- Cape Cod is known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic with its 3,000+ shipwrecks
- Nantucket has 82 miles of beaches and is only 47.8 square miles
- There are over 800 buildings on Nantucket that predate the Civil War era
- Nantucket does not have a single traffic light
- Martha’s Vineyard does not have any vineyards
- Sign Language was developed on Martha’s Vineyard
- Martha’s Vineyard is a popular vacation destination for Presidents and Celebrities
Best Activities to do In Cape Cod, Nantucket, & Martha’s Vineyard
Cranberry Bog Tours is owned and operated by Leo & Andrea Cakounes. Their Cranberry Farm is the largest organic cranberry bog on Cape Cod. Seasonal daily tours are available as well as farm animals to enjoy. The passion behind the process of harvesting Cranberries shines through the education offered on their tours. Due to high demand, reservations are highly recommended. Don’t forget to visit their Farm stand to grab some yummy jam, local honey, and a cookbook.
Enjoy a scenic train ride on the Cape Cod Central Railroad. You will pass by marshes, cranberry bogs, dunes, and other places only accessible by rail. Enjoy a daytime ride with narrated tales of the history of the canal and how cranberries are harvested, a sunset dinner train, or a relaxing weekday lunch or Sunday brunch.
Fort Hill trail is about a 1-mile loop and easy for everyone to enjoy. There are open fields, connections to the Red Maple Swamp Trail, and spectacular vistas of the Nauset Marsh area. Fort Hill is also the perfect location for bird watching and Sunrise gazing making it picture-perfect for Instagram. The total elevation gain is 65 feet. Trailhead coordinates: 41.81894, -69.96473
Finn’s Craft Beer Tap House has local beers, seltzer, cider, wine, and spirits. They have a total of 32 beers on tap for everyone to enjoy. Finn’s is also known for their great tasting food with their Tri Color Chips and Street Corn Dip being a local favorite. Finn’s has a seasonal outdoor patio with games, live music, and strong support for Veterans.
The Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum commemorate the Mayflower Pilgrims’ first landing in the New World in Provincetown, in November 1620. The Pilgrims spent 5 weeks exploring the tip of Cape Cod before they sailed on to Plymouth. The Provincetown Museum retains the charm of an old-fashioned history museum. This exhibit highlighted the arrival of the Mayflower Pilgrims, the town’s rich maritime history, the early days of modern American theater in Provincetown, and the building of the monument.
Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary is filled with sandy beaches, butterfly-filled meadows, woodland trails, and farm animals to make Long Pasture a unique experience on Cape Cod. It is also a hidden gem within Cape Cod. Explore their expansive tidal flats and join them for a kayak tour, boat cruise, or family nature program.
Kalmus Beach is a large beach off of Nantucket Sound with space for everyone to run around and explore. It’s also a popular beach for windsurfers and kite boarders due to its consistent breezes and is easily one of the top places to visit on their adventure Bucket List. Local surf and adventure shops have kiteboards available to rent for your next adventure. There’s a seasonal snack bar, restrooms, and lifeguards. Kalmus Beach is also known as Dunbar Point and has a long jetty into the Nantucket Sound. Be sure to check out this activity within the Tripio App and add it to your Custom Itinerary.
Nobska Point Lighthouse is a beloved Landmark in Cape Cod. The light station includes four buildings: the tower, the keeper’s house, a radio beacon house, and a small oil house. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places as Nobska Point Light Station in 1987.
Aquinnah Cliffs Overlook is a local favorite and one of Martha’s Vineyard’s most-visited tourist spots. The clay cliffs were carved by glaciers millions of years ago and are picture-perfect to those who visit today. The lower beach is accessible and the view from there is remarkable. The upper trails give a view of Gay Head Light and the Elizabeth Islands.
Built-in 1968 and 2006, the two domes of the Loines Observatory house a beautifully refurbished antique 8-inch Alvan Clark telescope and a 24-inch research telescope. Loines serves as both an active research observatory and a venue for public astronomical programs.
Thank you for reading, remember, adventure awaits you on the Tripio App. Travel has never been so easy!
Interested in more adventures in the United States, Check Out: Best Adventures Through The Florida Panhandle
-Catherine Mortimer, Tripio Guru
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